Tomahawk Talk recently had the opportunity to run a series of Braves, White Sox and MLB related questions by Larry, one of the great writers at SB Nations’s Chicago White Sox blog/fansite South Side Sox, and with the Braves and White Sox all set to play each other in a three-game series, the timing couldn’t be better!
Here’s a look at what Larry had to say in response to our recent questions:
Tomahawk Talk: The White Sox were expected to contend for the AL Central title, but got off to a slow start. How do you think they will wind up doing this year?
Larry: I don’t think they will do much better than .500. I thought they would be about a .500 team before the season began – the pitching looked good, but the offense didn’t. The starting pitching didn’t live up to expectations for the first couple of months, but is showing signs of coming around now. If they get some luck and get hot, they might be able to move up in the standings, but the division title looks almost certainly out of reach.
Tomahawk Talk: What do you like best about the 2010 edition of the White Sox?
Larry: Alex Rios is the position player who is the most fun to watch. He’s got great tools and skills. He hits the ball hard, steals bases, and plays a great centerfield. On the pitching side, it’s Sergio Santos. Barely a year ago, he was an infielder and now he’s pitching – and doing well – in the majors. It’s amazing to see a guy like that with three legitimate pitches.
Tomahawk Talk: What is your primary concern about this year’s White Sox team?
Larry: It’s the offense. I didn’t like the construction of the offense prior to the season – particularly the lack of a real DH – and that’s been a problem, along with just about everyone else in the lineup not named Alex Rios or Paul Konerko. The starting pitching hasn’t been nearly as good as expected either, but an AL team that expects to contend has to score more than 4.4 runs per game.
Tomahawk Talk: Do you expect the White Sox to make any major player moves at (or before) the trade deadline? And what (if anything) would you like to see the White Sox do to improve the team?
Larry: I expect they will dump salary and do so by trading guys whose contracts are up at the end of the season. Guys like Paul Konerko, A.J. Pierzynski, and Freddie Garcia look like the prime candidates. And I’m not sure there’s much they can do this season to improve the team, but in the offseason I’d like to see a focus on fielding a better offense. A real DH would be a start.
Tomahawk Talk: What are your thoughts/impressions of this year’s Braves team?
Larry: As a prospects guy, I really like watching Jason Heyward and his easy transition to the majors. He’s a huge talent and should be a great player for years to come. From an outsider’s perspective, this season sort of looks like the baton is passing from Chipper Jones to Heyward as the face of the Braves franchise.
Tomahawk Talk: It’s not Chicago’s division, of course, but how do you see the NL East race playing out? What’s your projected order-of-finish for the NL East?
Larry: I still like the Phillies to win it. The Braves should finish second and might win the wild card race. After that, I think it will be the Mets, Marlins, and Nationals.
Tomahawk Talk: Returning to the White Sox and their division, how do you see the AL Central race playing out? What’s your projected order-of-finish for the AL Central?
Larry: The Twins were my preseason pick and I’ll stick with them to win it, followed by the Tigers, White Sox, Royals, and Indians.
Tomahawk Talk: Great stuff, Larry. Thanks for doing the Q and A!